Why Martial Arts Can Help You Towards Success

Traditional martial arts are all about focus and mindfulness, but unlike many purely intellectual exercises, they include a bodily element and force you to develop an awareness of the status of your body at any moment. For example, traditional impact-based martial arts teach you to punch or kick with maximum force not by building your muscle mass to look like Hulk the Invincible, but by contracting just the rights muscles while at the same time relaxing other (antagonist) muscles. The more focused you are, the more you are able to exert knock-down force at the point of impact. The more you flex the ‘stress muscles’, or the antagonist muscles which interfere with the smooth execution of your punch or kick, the weaker the impact will be and the more you will lose balance in the process.

I recently saw a sow on a martial artist who had hiked in the nature and was bitten by one of the most poisonous snakes in America. His friend, who was with him, had to venture to the nearest point where he would get mobile phone service in order to call help and thus left him alone in bear-infested woods. It took forever for the rescue team to arrive, and when the victim was safely in hospital the doctors couldn’t understand how the venom had not spread to his lungs, in which case he would be lost. The patient was not only convulsing; he was conscious and able to communicate coherently. He explained that he had concentrated on slowing his blood flow and lowering his heart rate – an exercise he had learnt in Karate, while waiting between two competition bouts in order to regenerate energy. In 9 hours, it turned out the poison did not spread beyond his lower leg and he made a full recovery, where normally it would be expected that this poison would overwhelm the lungs in just three hours.

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